Never one to be confused as a foaming-at-the-mouth right winger (such as myself) author and professional student DaShanne Stokes once correctly stated, “People often call fighting discrimination being ‘PC’ because they don’t want their own unearned privileges challenged.” Or as the late and great Major Gene Duncan, USMC of Fiction and Fact From Dunk’s Almanac Old-fashioned Observations for the Modern Military Leader fame once penned, “All this tact and diplomacy has made liars of us all.”
Now that got me thinking, which hurt like hell … why am I quite often corrected AND admonished for using the English language correctly? I was “corrected” once by an oh-so-PC airhead because I referred to Orientals as … wait for it … Orientals. As this vacuous bird-brain sneered down her leathery-tanned nose as me, “Kevin, rugs are Oriental, my friend Kim is an Asian.” To wit, I retorted, “do you even know what ‘Oriental’ means?”
Stunned silence. But I went on despite the irritating sound of the wind whistling through her head, “‘Oriental’ means ‘of the east.’ Just like ‘Occidental’ means ‘of the west.’ Kinda like Occidental College up in LA. You know, it’s on the West Coast, right? So if your friend Kim so desires to refer to my Dad’s European ancestors as ‘Occidentals,’ I could care less. Just don’t correct me for using the English language correctly.”
As time when by and Western civilization furthered the process of slow suicide, now I’m told if I call the male of the species from China a Chinaman, I’m an evil person. Wait, is an Irishman no longer an Irishman? Scotsmen are no longer Scots nor men? But in all fairness, I can see the conundrum associated with the linguistic oxymoron that is Frenchman.
But I digress, since when did the Orientals take over all of the Asian continent? Is not a hearty Yemeni repast of saltah and khubz “Asian” food? Cypriots, Iranians, and Eastern Russians (to include the Caucasians) are all “Asians,” but you’ll never hear of them being referred to as such on any MSNBC telecast or any other meeting of the castrati-elite.
How many gringos do we know that will risk major injury to their overall Pie Hole region by trying soooo hard to pronounce Havana, Cuba as Hah-bana, Kooooba. Or Albuquerque as AL-bay-coor-KAY. Seriously. I actually had a ever-so-culturally-sensitive man-child tell me that this was the correct way to pronounce the name of largest city in New Mexico. Or should I say Noo-AYY-voh Meh-hee-KOH?
When will we see the racially sensitive pronounce Moscow, Russia pronounced correctly? You know, Moss-kVA, Rye-SEE-ya. While I’m at it, they need to start saying Londinium, Britannica. No more of that fancy-schmancy Meddy Old Londontowne drivel anymore, ‘eh? Maybe we dump the Chinese spawned “Japan” and refer to out friends in the very Far East as what they truly are – Nipponese.
While I’m speaking of the Mysterious East and the sundry and various islands in the Western Pacific, my Mom was from one of said islands. So as a kid I was quite often referred to as mixed-race. With all due respect to Vodka Martinis and the co-mingling of Brazil nuts and cashews, why is mixed-race a bad thing? 7 & 7 doesn’t care if it’s mixed, neither does one of the favorite products pumped out by Mr. Peanut. Sheesh, “mixed-race” is the correct usage of the language. So is “bi-racial” and “multi-racial.” If any given individual so desires to refer to themselves by the former of latter, Rock on …. hell, have a ball. If someone goesn’t like me calling them mixed-race, fine. Just don’t tell me that my correct usage of the language qualifies as racist.
And without fail some of the more moronic complaints made by professional victims would be in their search for the wrong words and phrases people with a fairly good working knowledge of the language.
Examples would include the idle rich (and painfully stupid) twits who comprise the grammatically retarded Left4Change organization who “seeks to change the name of Black Pudding to ‘Pigs blood pudding’ by summer 2015 with support from the Labour Party who were already successful in banning [the words] Blackboards and Blackcurrant Jam from British culture.”
Yet the most idiotic knee-jerk reaction has been in regards to the word “niggardly.” My apologies to the perpetually outraged, but niggardly has absolutely no connection in any way, shape or form to either the color black or anything concerning the black race. The word is not rooted in the Latin word for black (the nominative neutral): Nigrum.
Niggardly actually comes to us from the Norsepersons-of-undetermined-gender, aka: (“The Vikings.”) Definition: “Niggardly” (noun: “niggard”) is an adjective meaning “stingy” or “miserly”, perhaps related to the Old Norse verb nigla = “to fuss about small matters”. It is cognate with “niggling”, meaning “petty” or “unimportant”, as in “the niggling details.”
So with all that said, should I raise hell if someone ever utters within earshot of me “That’s not germane to the conversation”? Maybe someone just insulted my Bavarian heritage. I also demand that Tales of the South Pacific, Once Were Warriors, and Mutiny on the Bounty should all be taken out of all libraries and burned. I feeeeel they insult my Islander lineage.
Now doesn’t that sound silly?